Update – Tubby Teach Gets 3 Months House Arrest for Destroying Unlucky Student’s Fantasies

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from www.readingeagle.com – A former Daniel Boone High School teacher wept as she was sentenced Wednesday in Berks County Court to three months of house arrest for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male student in her home in March 2012.

Kristy Risell, who taught English, also was sentenced by Judge John A. Boccabella to five years of probation.

“I would like to apologize for my actions,” Risell said. “I am very sorry to the family and the Daniel Boone School District.”

Risell, 32, of the 2100 block of Orchard View Road, Exeter Township, pleaded guilty to institutional sexual assault. She said she didn’t realize the depth of her mental health issues when the act occurred.

Under house arrest, Risell will wear an electronic monitoring device and can leave her home only with a probation officer’s permission.

Risell, who began teaching at Daniel Boone in 2004, resigned in September.

The victim was not present for sentencing, but Boccabella asked Risell to read a letter each day from the victim’s mother about the anguish Risell caused.

The sentence was based on an agreement between Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Kurland and Risell’s lawyer, William R. Bernhart.

“We don’t think this is a just resolution, but we do not want to delay the resolution,” Kurland said. “She (Risell) took a child who was in her custody, and she exploited him.”

Bernhart said he hasn’t seen a more difficult case in 47 years as an attorney.

“A young man is betrayed by a teacher, ” Bernhart said. “My client was an exemplary teacher who was loved by her students.”

Bernhart said the crime was the result of a mental breakdown and that a psychiatric report concluded Rissel could have used an insanity defense.

After the sentencing, Dr. Gary L. Otto, Daniel Boone superintendent, said the district would defer to prosecutors regarding the sentence.

“We appreciate the efforts of law enforcement to secure an appropriate resolution to this matter,” Otto said. “This truly has been an unfortunate event. The district remains committed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the students.”

According to court records:

Risell first had contact with the teen through text messages, and in March 2012 picked him up at his home and drove him to her home, where she sexually assaulted him.

Risell was one of two Berks teachers charged with sex crimes on the same day last September.

Jean Kleckner, a former Muhlenberg substitute teacher and middle school field hockey coach, is serving five years of probation for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old female student.

Kleckner 48, of the 1100 block of Bernard Drive, Muhlenberg Township, pleaded guilty in January before Judge Stephen B. Lieberman to corrupting minors.

Kleckner first sexually abused the girl in 2008 after giving her alcohol on a camping trip, and continued to abuse her on a regular basis into 2009, mostly in Kleckner’s home, detectives said.

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